Dhaka – Police has detained a madrasah teacher for quizzing in connection with the killing of Hindu tailor Nikhil Joarder, unb news agency reporter.
The detainee was identified as Mawlana Amirul Islam, 42, super of Alamnagar Dakhil Madrasah.
Amirul was held from his home at Dattabari village in Modhupur upazila of the district ‘just for quizzing’, superintendent of police Faleh M Tanvir told reporters over phone.
Police in Tangail investigating whether victim was targeted for his religious beliefs or killed in a family dispute, reported agencies. The Hindu tailor was hacked to death in a district of central Bangladesh, police say, the latest of a number of Islamist killings in the country.
Nikhil Joarder, who was in his early 50s, was attacked as he sat outside his shop in Tangail on Saturday afternoon.
Police said he had been arrested in 2012 for allegedly making derogatory comments about Islam, then released.
Amirul Islam, also the Gopalpur correspondent of vernacular daily Inqilab, filed a case against Nikhil on May 2012 with Gopalpur Police Station for his derogatory remarks about Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), the SP added.
Later, Amirul withdrew the case on March, 2015.
On Saturday morning, the Hindu tailor was chopped to death by assailants at Dubail Bazar in Gopalpur upazila on Saturday.
Assistant police super (Gopalpur circle) Jamir Uddin said three youths riding a motorcycle appeared before the tailoring shop of Nikhil Chandra Joarder, 45, at Dubail Bazar near his house around 11:30 am while he was working there and called him out of the shop.
Later, they chopped Nikhil with sharp weapons indiscriminately, leaving him dead on the spot, he said.
The assailants had managed to flee the scene before the locals reached the spot.
On information, police rushed in and recovered some crude bombs from the spot.
Nikhil had served three months jail two years back for his derogatory comments about Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), said Jamir Uddin.
Local people said Nikhil might have been killed over the issue.
Police said Nikhil’s nephew (brother’s daughter) Swarna divorced her husband some days ago and Nikhil had a role in the divorce.
The family members of Swarna’s husband had been giving death threat to Nikhil, police further said.
Islamic State claimed the attack although the authorities deny the group is active in the country.
A number of similar recent killings in Bangladesh have been claimed by various Islamist militant groups.
At least two unknown assailants hacked the Hindu tailor to death amid a rise in attacks on religious minorities, al-jazeera repolrted.
Police officials said they were investigating whether Saturday’s killing in Tangail was linked to religious groups suspected of a series of minority killings, or was tied to a family dispute.
“They came on a motorcycle and attacked him as he sat on a roadside. They hacked him on his head, neck and hand,” Aslam Khan, deputy chief of Tangail district police, told AFP news agency.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group has claimed credit for the attack in a post online but the claim could not be independently verified.
Bangladesh is reeling from a series of attacks on members of minority faiths, secularists, foreigners and intellectuals in recent months, including two gay activists and a liberal professor in the past eight days alone.
Many of the killings have been blamed on or claimed by groups such as al-Qaeda or ISIL.
Police said local Muslims had filed a complaint against Joarder, who owned a tailoring shop, to police in 2012 for making comments about Prophet Muhammad.
He was charged with hurting religious sentiments and spent three weeks in jail.
“But the trial did not proceed after the complainants withdrew the charges,” Abdul Jalil, the police chief of Gopalpur sub-district, told AFP.
Another police official said that the dispute appeared to have ended peacefully, adding that the victim’s family said he was also being threatened by a relative.
The murder came less than a week after attackers hacked to death two gay-rights activists in the capital Dhaka, saying they tried to promote homosexuality in the deeply conservative nation.
In February suspected ISIL supporters decapitated a top Hindu priest inside a temple complex in a northern district.
The government denies that international groups such as ISIL or al-Qaeda have a presence in the country.
Hindus make up around nine percent of Bangladesh’s population.
On Monday, Xulhaz Mannan, a leading gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine, was hacked to death along with another man in his Dhaka flat.
A Bangladeshi militant group affiliated to al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, said it was behind those killings.
Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were also killed with machetes.
The four bloggers had all appeared on a list of 84 “atheist bloggers” drawn up by Islamist groups in 2013 and widely circulated.